The headline numbers: Earnings per share came in at $2.29, $.07 better than expectations, up 18 percent for the year. Revenues gained, too, but at a less heady pace, up 6 percent to $28.4 billion. Wall Street trading was up 13 percent, to $5.4 billion. Management stated on the call that volatility and geopolitical events, including the development of a trade war between China and the United States, helped boost that division.
CEO Jamie Dimon pointed to strength in consumer sentiment and in macro trends as giving strength to investments, but also credit card results. Total loans on the books came in 4 percent higher year on year, to $948 billion.
Within the segments, as disclosed by the banking giant, net charge-offs came to $50 million in the consumer and banking division, down from $56 million last year. Taken as a whole, the net charge-offs for the division stood at $1.1 billion, down slightly from last year in dollar terms. As measured in percentage terms, the rate stood at 100 basis points, down from 107 last year. As for cards, the net charge-off rate was 327 basis points, as compared to 301 during the second quarter last year. Total credit card loans at the end of the quarter were up 4 percent to $145 billion, while the provision for credit losses improved slightly year on year to $1.2 billion.
More granular detail showed that the branch footprint continued to shrink. The latest tally was a bit more than 5,000 branches, down from roughly 5,200 last year. At the same time, active digital customers gained 5 percent, to 47.9 million at the latest count. Within that subset, mobile customers stood at 31 million, up 2 percent year on year.
During a management’s call with analysts, CFO Marianne Lake — pointing to Finn, among other efforts — stated that “we are seeing a lot more accounts opened digitally across the channels and we’re seeing, of those, a decent chunk of net new to bank[s]. And where we’re seeing existing customers open new accounts, we’re getting incremental money. So, we are seeing our digital assets pay off.”
All of that comes against a backdrop where debit and credit card sales volume gained 10 percent to $255 billion. Credit card sales volume was up 11 percent to $174 billion. The company said that the credit card operations took a $330 million charge, where customers latched on to rewards programs, an effort that stretched beyond the Sapphire card offerings.